Aging Well

Everything I know about the world can be summed up in three words: it moves on.  (Robert Frost)

I just returned from a trip to Escondido, California to celebrate the birthday of one of my childhood friends.  He was six and I was three when he moved in across the street from us.  He knocked at our door one morning, asking if someone could help him get his boots on because his mom was sleeping.    I have no memory of that, of course, but I do have years of shared memories as we each graduated from high school, attended college, got married, had children, and continued through our parallel life journeys.

As one of the few out-of-towners in attendance at the large birthday bash, I had the chance to sit back and observe people of various ages.  I was struck by the differences, especially in the older people in attendance.  Some of them were quite vibrant and socially interactive, meeting new people easily and engaging in conversation that was stimulating, amusing, and interesting.  Others, not so much.

As I drove back home on Sunday I kept thinking about what made the difference in what I referred to as “aging well” and “aging not-so-well.”  Those who were doing well were interested and involved in a variety of activities.  They volunteer, they belong to organizations, they travel, and they attend dramatic and musical events. They live multi-faceted lives.

I had an extensive conversation with one gentleman who was a retired high school science teacher, and he seemed adrift and lost.  His identity had been “Educator,“ and after he retired, had not found a place to put his time and attention where he could create a more current role for himself.   He was quite happy to find that I, too, was a retired educator and wanted to exchange classroom war stories.  I shared a few amusing ones, but was not too interested in relating to the past only.  I am far more interested in Now.  It felt sad to me because he did not seem to know how to live Today.

In my experience, I have learned that the people who stay the most vibrant are the ones who choose to change with the times, who have a positive attitude about the world in which we live, and who are willing to change their minds about what constitutes “the good old days.”  They stay interested in the world in which we live, they stay involved with family and friends, and they embrace new experiences.  They know what is going on NOW.  They see the past as what it is:  the past.

At a memorial service for a beloved teacher’s aide, a friend of mine was talking about what a delightful person Susanne was.  Another friend said, “The older she got, the sweeter she became.”  The first friend said, “I have noticed that as people age, they become themselves.  Only more so.”  I have thought a lot about that statement, and I find it to be ever more true.  The sweet people become sweeter, and vice versa.

I drove home Sunday feeling enriched by all of the people with whom I interacted during the weekend. But I am even more grateful for the people here, and now, at home who continue to enrich my life so thoroughly and so regularly.

by Pat Masters

Contemplating Freedom

“You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.”  Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Except for a couple years when my mother was still alive and we had family get-togethers on holidays, my Fourth of July celebrations have been non-existent.  It was just another day, except there was no mail delivery and the banks were closed.  So when I realized my newsletter article would be published on the 4th of July, I decided to contemplate freedom and what it means to me, and now I’ll find out what I have to say about it.

‘Big picture’ freedoms are the ones that come with being born in the United States:  Freedom to cast a vote; freedom to walk down the street with my head, face and limbs uncovered; freedom to marry anyone I want; freedom to support or protest anything or anyone; freedom to participate in any religious or spiritual teachings I choose; freedom to fly any flag I wish, be it the stars and stripes, the Seahawks, rainbow, or my freak flag… you get the picture.  I admit, I take all of the above for granted and unless my freedom to do so is threatened, I seldom give those things a second thought.  Certainly, I am grateful for all the ‘big picture’ freedoms I enjoy, I just haven’t spent much time beinggrateful.  Most of the time I have just lounged in the shade… 

“We can sit in the shade or move into the sunshine.  Sitting in the shadow we may not really believe that there is any sunshine.  But the sun would be there all the time, and all the time we are in bondage, the real freedom exists.  It is there but we must awaken to it.”  Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind,411.3

But my #1 freedom is this:  When I step out of the shade into the light of my consciousness, nothing is more precious to me than my freedom to choose.  What is currently on my plate presents to me a beautiful opportunity to choose the brightest sunshine imaginable:  My beloved Aunt Von — soul sister, mother when I needed her to be, confidante and dearest friend — is fighting for her life… again… and she’s tired.  Of course, I do treatments for her, but what I know for her isn’t what I would have ‘prayed for’ in the past, when prayer was ‘out there’.  I don’t pray for her to get better or to get out of the hospital soon (she may not even want that!)  I simply know wholeness, ease, and peace of mind as the Truth of her; this knowingness can be no other way because she/I/we all live and express in Divine Mind/God/Spirit as individualized sparks of the One Life.  I know that regardless of any apparent disease, the life flame that fills Aunt Von can never be extinguished.  Her body form will eventually relax and let go, as will everyone’s, but the Life that fills her will continue to shine brightly in a way totally unknown to me (yet)!

I feel so grateful that I can choose how to ‘be’ in this situation.  I allow myself the freedom to get scared and cry and to not make myself wrong for doing so, and I allow myself to feel joyous even in the midst of her suffering (and, again, to not make myself wrong for doing so).  My job is to remember that there is only God, and to look for the God/Good in everything. How could I stay fear-filled and sad as I remember and experience this truth?  I just feel love – love for her, love for me, love for Omnipresent God which is radiant light and love everywhere, everywhen, always and forever without end… THIS is the freedom in which I live, in which we all live.  God. 

“If you can see God in everything, then God will look back at you through everything.  When the time comes that nothing goes forth from you other than that which you would be glad to have return, then you will have reached your heaven.”  Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You, 24

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  May we all be filled with a sense of sunshine-y freedom!

By Renee’ Mezzone

Standing in the Flow

I gained a lot from my participation in the book study of Eric Butterworth’s Spiritual Economics. It was an empowering and life-altering experience in confronting old attitudes of lack.

In his book on page 10, Butterworth says:

Prosperity is a way of living and thinking, and not just money or things.

Poverty is a way of living and thinking, and not just a lack of money or things.

 My prosperity is an inside job because I am responsible for my own thoughts. It has nothing to do with my monetary income. Now, while I knew that in an academic way, I found it harder to apply that knowledge and stand in the positive stream of life when it came to my financial affairs.

In the past, I was one of those people who experienced a lot of anxiety around looking closely at my financial state. I resolved to take Butterworth’s program to heart and change the way I do things around money. So, during our study I did something I had never done before. Instead of fearfully waiting until the last minute to pay my bills (and their accompanying late fees), I sat down and paid them all at the same time before their due dates. I continued my contributions to the Center and practiced a sense of gratitude for life. I could not imagine how there would be enough money to last the rest of the month, but I determined to believe in the flow of Good.

At the end of the month, I peeked at my bank account and was astounded to see the amount of money left!  I could not fathom what happened. For years I had been living the belief that there was “not enough” and thereby blocking the flow of my good. I had unkinked the hose!

Similarly, over the Memorial Day weekend, I caught myself at a red light on the way to Best Buy with my credit card. I planned to charge an expensive electronic gizmo that had caught my eye and that was on sale. But as I waited in traffic I thought about Butterworth’s program and asked myself why I was buying this thing I wanted but did not need? And why was I willing to charge it on a credit card to boot?  I needed furniture for my house and tires for my car, but I had rejected the idea of ever “affording” those with a knee-jerk attitude of poverty. That same attitude of lack was responsible for me trying to put a Band-aid on my feelings by going into debt for the momentary satisfaction of a new toy. I turned the car around and went home, choosing to live and believe that my abundance is assured, and that I stand in the positive stream of life.

I remind myself now of Butterworth’s image of prosperity as a faucet. I do not doubt water will come out of my kitchen faucet because I know it is connected to the city water supply. Now I trust that I constantly access my financial faucet for bills, donations and other life-affirming expenses, and rest assured that I remain in the flow of abundance from the one divine Source.

–Leah Hamilton

The Chameleon’s Visioning

The first challenge I had in finding a therapist with whom I could work was simple: I must not be able to “con her.”

Most are familiar with personality graphs: usually a quadrant chart with different “types” in each quadrant, The further away from the cross in the middle, the more prevalent that square’s behavior pattern: extrovert, introvert, analytical, emotional. My entire life was lived at the cross hair.  As close to the exact center as is possible, which translates into no distinctive personality trait – totally chameleonesque.  Whatever was needed – there I was.

Now, I did this with intelligence (thanks Mom and Dad), and with a certain amount of style and standards.  BUT it was almost always based on what I assumed, or was told directly, that my behavior should be.  My Father in particular had a precise vision for/of me, and lots of control over what I did.  He chose a college other than where I wanted to go.  Then when I had settled in and become happy, he decided I needed to transfer to a larger State University.  And, so there I went.

There was some rebellion along the way. Some was covert – though I still regret the math classes I didn’t take to spite him: and some were overt: married a boy/man he hated.  The usual stuff.

Luckily, I had enough time with him on this plane to realize his attempts to control and the forced choices were due to his amazing love and concern for me. The fact that his choices frequently didn’t work for me was simply because I was not the daughter they had requested.  No ribbons and bows for this one. Puh-leese.  That took a while to work out on all our parts.

Which brings me to now, and my participation in the CSLT Visioning Class.  Any idea how hard it is for a chameleon to decide on what color she personally wants to be today?   And let’s not even think about accepting, claiming the way I personally want to be creatively, or socially, or even how to decorate my very own house.  I am actually supposed to open my mind and get my personal concept special delivery to me from the One Mind about my individual self.  It was so much easier when a boss, a friend, a parent or society issued instructions.

Reading Dr. Holmes, listening to weekly reminders, attending classes and meditating daily, I know the time is NOW.    And, now I have the tools to accomplish that personal change and growth. It is hard work but frequently joyous. It must be done every day.

I understand that all my past chameleon’s attempts to be socially or corporately accepted just delayed my becoming the unique expression of Spirit that each of us truly is.  The most important idea for me – being unique.  My gifts are my own, and I am becoming jealous of them. (In a good way!) I want nothing so much as to deliver the truth of my special gifts from and to the Universe.  My goal now is not to meet other people’s expectations (based on my own frequently incorrect assumptions), not to help others with their goals or plans – but to deliver my unique self.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love others, that I don’t respect their ideas and goals.  In fact, for me, it is quite the opposite. I can now help out and contribute, knowing it is not for others,but just me doing my very own thing. Accepting, claiming that the time is NOW for me to be the singular expression of my one true self.

— Mariann Moery

…. Coming to one’s self, coming to awareness, coming to understand why and how we started on the wrong path emotionally, explaining this to the self — this is what is meant by self-awareness. … But self-awareness alone is not enough, for this reason: there is an incessant urge back of everything to create, to express life, to come to the gratification of happiness, peace, joy and self-expression.  Self-awareness is not enough.  It is merely clearing the track for right action.                 — Ernest Holmes: Living The Science of Mind 429.2&3

When Push Comes to Shove

Driving to the office on the Memorial Day Monday, aware that most people were taking the day off and enjoying themselves, I noticed I was thinking about the phrase, “When Push Comes to Shove” and I wondered that that phrase meant, and why it had come to mind.  Apparently, I was feeling ‘put-upon’, squeezed or constrained in some way, and I pondered what had brought that feeling on, and what I could do about it.  I started making lists to see what I could figure out what I might be feeling ‘bound up’ about.

1. The home study groups on Spiritual Economics complete this week, and have been pleasingly successful.  Participants have enjoyed digging into the material and learning, and also getting to know their home-study-group-buddies more deeply.  So that’s a joyous success, so that’s not it.  Two different centers have asked if they can use the curriculum that I had compiled.  One of the juicy bits from the fifth class that really caught my attention was the idea that living from a giving mentality (not expecting to get, so it’s not fostering codependency or martyrdom) makes more space for more good to show up.  I’m thrilled to share it, so that’s not it.

2. The planning for the next class, How To Change Your Life, is coming along well.  I’m enjoying working with one of my favorite ministers, Dr Linda McNamar from Laguna Woods CA, creating a juicy curriculum. And I’m getting to introduce her to the zoom videoconferencing platform, which is a double bonus.  So that’s not it.

3. The sign-up sheets are out for Visioning, which starts June 9th.  We had a good half-dozen folks say they were interested in taking it this summer and available on Tuesdays.  And I’ve thought about a new way to introduce the topic, that may make it more accessible to people who haven’t been able to ‘get’ it before. So that’s not it.

4. I’m really jazzed about the June theme of Imagination.  Carla has found some excellent quotes for us to use for our Spiritual Thoughts and has written some dynamite affirmations, and the Music Team is out-doing themselves with our own volunteer vocalists.  So that’s not it.

5. Barbara and the leasing agents are digging in and removing potential obstacles around a possible interim location that Alana found for us.  So far, so good.  So that’s not it.

6. Gail from my Spiritual Economics group volunteered to come help out for a few hours in the office on Mondays to reduce my administrative workload.  That’s awesome, and very welcome help.  So that’s not it.

7. I’m in the middle of working on a quilt, and haven’t finished painting my house.  Painting had begun to feel like drudgery, so I realized I’d be better off taking a break from painting and do something fun. Then I can go back and finish the painting with renewed interest and enthusiasm.  And if I finish two quilts before I feel like painting some more, who cares?  So that’s not it.

Coming up with nothing, but feeling much better after having made the list, I decided to ask Google.

This is what I found.  It’s a colloquialism that probably originated in black America.  It was first formally recorded by Thomas De Witt Talmage in 1873, in the United Methodist Free Churches’ Magazine: “The proposed improvement is about to fail, when Push comes up behind it and gives it a shove, and Pull goes in front and lays into the traces; lo! the enterprise advances, the goal reached!”

So, the original intention of the phrase seems to be something that wants to be created, and it just needs a little impetus or ‘shove’ to make it happen.  I especially love the phrase that isn’t part of the idiom, “Pull goes in front and lays the traces (track) … the enterprise advances.  The Goal is reached”.

Perhaps just examining possible areas of concern allows me to reframe my thoughts, not as troubles, but as things in gestation, in process, and just waiting for “Pull to show up and lay the track”?   It’s a little bit like setting intention and then waiting to take delivery from Divine Mind/Spirit/The Universe when the product is ready.  I’m so very good with that.

I love this philosophy… how it shows up and helps me make sense of my life.

— Rev Janis Farmer

The Smooth Break Down

Raised Catholic and finding that tradition lacking for my own spiritual connection, I began searching for something else. I played with ashrams, Silva Mind Control, EST and then in my teens I found Earnest Holmes’ book The Science of Mind.  I began reading it and it made sense to me.  It wasn’t until I came to Tucson in 2009 that I found Tucson Center for Spiritual Living.  Delighted to have others of like mind to explore and grow with I embraced the community and the opportunities for learning and centering it offers. Fast forward 9, almost 10 years, living the Science of Mind has brought me many incredible joys. I have lived many of my dreams from living on and running ranches, riding my horse both for work and pleasure, and financial freedom. I remodeled a cute little house and have great place to live.  I am loved and I love many incredible people. Demonstrations of the bounty of living the Science of Mind abound.

Then on my birthday in December of 2017, after celebrating with friends I received a phone call.  My father who lives in an assisted living facility was being transported to the hospital. So at 10:30 at night and a little drunk from the birthday fun, I drove to the VA and spent the night in the emergency room. Heart issues and my fathers 90+ years on this planet determined that there was nothing that could be done to fix his condition. Together he and I chose hospice.

On New Year’s Eve while dancing I fell and broke my finger. Not really a big deal and no, this time I was not drunk, but the pain and inability to use the right index finger set me back. I wondered why I called this in.

On January 6th of 2018 I received the phone call that my sister had died. The call was shocking and her death was gruesome. I flew to New Orleans, where she lived and spent a week taking care of her home, dog and belongings.

So three things happened in a relatively short period of time. All of which had a bearing on the course of my Life. By the time I returned from New Orleans, I was angry. My life was not my own. My sister’s estate was a mess, my dad needed me a lot and my normal duties and commitments were taking a hit because I did not have the time or mental capacity to give to them. It seemed I was always playing catch-up. And I felt confused… pondering how I have placed myself amidst this craziness. What is it that I have done or believe that called this all in at once or even at all? What the heck was going on here? I totally withdrew and questioned my beloved Science of Mind philosophy.

It was not until a friend of mine came over to tell me about a trip she took. The first words out of her mouth were “I have to tell you about the smoothest break down”. She, like myself, travels alone with horses. Her truck broke down in the middle of nowhere. It rolled to a stop in front of a house, the only house for miles, and in that house lived a diesel mechanic. Many amazing things happened in a very short time to get her back on the road.  She was ecstatically focused on the connections that were made during this event and not on the break down.

After she left, that phrase “smoothest break down” kept cycling through my brain. I began thinking about all of the amazing demonstrations of the Science of Mind philosophy that I live.  From enjoying my birthday before my Dad went into the hospital to finding a great home for my sister’s beloved Pit Bull after I had been told it would be impossible. The same people that bought her car took the dog… She was cremated and her cremains returned in 3 days.  Another thing that I was told could not possibly happen. The AirBnB that I rented for the stay in New Orleans turned out to be right next door to her house.  There are many more wonderful things that happened with my dad, my finger and my sister’s passing.

So as I look around I see the amazing demonstrations that keep happening within the context of craziness.  I begin to see the “smooth break down”. Does this philosophy promise that life will always be fun, easy, and happy? Or is it contentment amidst the chaos that is the gift?

So 6 months later, after kicking and screaming my way through Life’s challenges, I see the results of my own smooth break down.  Staying centered in the Divine, mountain pose in yoga, deep breathing and knowing that I am of the Divine, that there is nothing that can change the eternal One that is me allows me to see the demonstrations in the chaos. I know that tapping into this Perfect energy as the world does what it does is where contentment lives and where I too can dwell. So here’s to hard-core living with lemons, in retrospect seeing the lemonade that has already been made (and served!) of those lemons, and living the smooth break down. Namaste!

— Sheila Campbell

Constant Change is Here to Stay

No man steps in the same river twice – Heraclitus

You Can’t Go Home Again– Thomas Wolfe

Many years ago, I did this exercise at a retreat in Ojai in which I described in detail a place I wanted to live.  It had four distinct seasons, lots of trees, few neighbors, and lots of space for a garden and animals.  I came across this description when I was cleaning out a file a few years ago, and realized I had described my house in Pine Top perfectly.  I was stunned when I reread the descriptions.  No wonder I’m finding it difficult to sell this house, even though I feel complete about my life in Pine Top.  It still fits a vision I once held of where I wanted to live.

So, now what?  How do I change my vision of my perfect house to match my present ‘reality’?  I feel relief when I remember that the most frequently used phrase in the Bible is, “And it came to pass,” not “It came to stay.”  Right here, right now, never stays the same. Life moves on.

Sometimes change is welcome.  Those brand new babies we bring home change almost before our eyes.  In only one year many are pulling up, walking, recognizing people, beginning to feed themselves, and letting us know what they want or don’t want.

Other times change is unwelcome — like the loss of a job or a house, the loss of a relationship through death or divorce. When change seems hard, I can choose to remember I am being presented with a growth opportunity.  Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” The greater the difficulty, the greater the opportunity.

I can choose to remember that I am never a victim of the seeming whims of the Universe.  I can create the changes I desire in my life by being very specific about what I wish.  “Change your thinking, change your life” is not an empty platitude, but a statement of power and truth.

I can describe in glorious detail what I actually desire.  Then I can answer the hardest questions of all, “What do I need to let go of to have this? What will I feel like when this happens? And what else? And what else?”  When I have gotten clarity, I have moved mountains.

I have had marvelous success creating treasure maps using pictures, and words representing things or situations I want to create in my life.  I made one a few years ago, which had, among other things, pictures of two grand pianos.  What a lovely surprise several months later when we moved the second piano into my living room to store for our congregation until we discovered our own home for it.

I can create a very personal experience of the change I claim.  Emerson wrote, “Man surrounds himself with his own image.” I can ensure my new mental and physical space reflects my newly-reawakened sense of abundance, well-being, and order. My new space gives me room to stretch and breathe.

And I can be grateful for what I already have.  Eric Butterworth reminded us how lucky we are to have bills.  They represent the trust our creditors have in us.  It is never the situation, but how I choose to see it that continues to be the important.

I think it essential that I choose to unfurl my symbolic sails so that I can make use of the winds of change.  When I choose this, I come out on the other side healthier, stronger, more flexible, more abundant, and especially more confident in my ability to make good choices for myself.

Since I know it works for me, I know it works for you, too.

–Pat Masters

Only One Life, My Life Now

I find the philosophy of Ernest Holmes invaluable in the ways it supports my growth. Each week Rev Janis’ Reminders provide insights into how I can be mindful of my own thoughts and beliefs and more fully embody my Good. Certainly, the theme of Creating Anew for April was perfect for me. My new life as a retiree has presented me with the necessity of creating my self and my lifestyle anew.

Between the Sunday Reminders and the study of Victor Shamas’ book, Deep Creativity, I was gifted with a wealth of tools for creation. One of the topics of the month concerned transcendence, which in my definition means restructuring my worldview and beliefs, escaping even my previous self-identity and acting outside of my comfort zone to create a reality of Oneness. Last week Rev Janis mentioned that creating anew often involves “doing different things and doing other things differently”. These concepts helped me reorient myself in my own lifestyle.

On the first Monday of my retirement, I did something very different from my old routine. I went out into the desert under the sun and sky and just meditated. I experienced a beautiful moment of connection and transcendence of my own little ego. I relished each day afterward with gratitude. But as days passed, it also became glaringly apparent to me how neglectful I had been of self-care while trying to maintain a professional career. I saw so many things in my life that I wanted to change I immediately created a lengthy ‘To Do’ list.

Then, near the end of April, I stopped waking up each morning feeling giddy and grateful and began to feel restless. I could not identify what was bothering me, so I sat and simply noticed my thoughts as they arose. Eventually, it became clear to me that, while I had acknowledged the opportunity for a new lifestyle, I had unwittingly dragged into it my old competitive, results-oriented mindset and self-judgments that made my ‘To Do’ list a contest. I was behaving as if I still needed to win, just as if I were still in the courtroom. I had fallen prey to default thinking and was doing new things in the same old way, bringing a toxic attitude to my wonderful new freedom.

This is where my study and practice of Science of Mind came to my aid because I paid attention to my default conditioned thinking.  I reminded myself of the Truth that there is Only One Life – perfect, whole and complete – and remembered my primary mission as a practitioner to “practice the Presence” and embody that Life by BEING. I reminded myself that I have nothing to fight and nothing to prove. Seeing the All in all meant there was nothing to win. I again fell in love with the sky, the sun, the circling hawks and knew the Oneness of all life.

Embodying Spirit, to me, means being love. Now I have every minute of every day to see the Beauty and Perfection of Life and to love it all, starting with myself. Each experience of transcendence transforms everything I ultimately do and I know myself blessed. And So It Is.

By Leah Hamilton, RScP

For The Love of Tulips

“The mold of acceptance is the measure of our experience.  The Infinite fills all molds and forever flows into new and greater ones.  Within us is the unborn possibility of limitless experience.  Ours is the privilege of giving birth to it!”

The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes, p.161.4

 

The first place I ever owned was in Seattle, a very small (402 sq. ft.) sweet condominium.  There was a common entry, then an elevator to my floor and a dozen doors leading into private units.  I loved my little home with a view of the Ship Canal and fishing boats.

 

Down the hall lived a quirky, bubbly woman whom I had met in an AA meeting then realized we were neighbors.  She was a light-filled, funny, adorable lawyer who saw the world as being one big amazing and exciting place.  I can’t picture her without her big, toothy grin.  I was used to her oddities, but she did one thing that I could never understand… she bought herself a big bouquet of fresh flowers every week.  Every week!  This action made no sense to me; the colorful foliage would begin to sag in a few days and then just die.  Right there on her table.  I saw this as an illogical use of money.  Why would anyone do that?  Why not buy a new cassette tape (this was 1993) or put the money in savings?  Something that would last, would count?  I even asked her about it and she said the flowers simply made her happy.  I didn’t get it.

 

Then two days ago, I was at Costco and saw the loveliest tulips I had ever seen in my whole life.  Giddiness washed through me and I effervesced all over everyone around me as I chose my favorite bouquet.  I felt so happy, like I had just witnessed magic happen!  In holding onto those perfect, beautiful, unnecessary tulips, I felt like I had a sweet spirit inside of me, a ‘daughter’ who never got to enjoy being a child, and she wanted the pretty tulips.  She wanted me to have them for Mother’s Day.

 

As I bounced up to the cashier, tulips lovingly embraced and a big, toothy grin on my face, I realized this would be the first Mother’s Day where I wouldn’t sit around in self-loathing for not being the daughter I thought I should’ve been for my mother.  In writing this, I have tears in my eyes, because it has become clear to me that I have finally forgiven myself my past.  I have moved from self-hatred, shame and rejection of my good to self-acceptance, appreciation and self-love.  I was exactly who I was meant to be, then, as now.  Truth.

 

I have had a change in consciousness that now allows me to see beauty, to love freely, toletbeauty and love into my life and to allow the flow of God, of grace, of wonder, of all things magnificent come through me and to me.   My only job is to stay the heck out of my own way and keep saying, “yes!”  Yes, yes, yes!!

 

Oh!  I am so grateful, so happy…

 

“Expose yourself to the success of learning and growing.  Take a step forward right now, even if you don’t have the right shoes on.  Stop thinking about it and shrinking inside.  Your gifts are real.  Your love is real.  The wildflowers sing to you from the hillside.  Everything you do will strengthen you.  You cannot fail by moving forward.  You will get to where you need to go.”

Inspired and Unstoppable, Tama Kieves, p. 69

By Renee’ Mezzone

The Center

The other Sunday I was driving to Sunday Services and I passed a new building in a medical complex. The name of the building was “The Center”.  Then yesterday, I was driving down Pima in Tucson and saw another new sign on a building.  It also was called, simply, “The Center”.  Why am I seeing this now?

I was reminded of a story I’d heard about an idea that had been held by a Board President long before I came to CSL Tucson.  He thought we should rebrand ourselves as The Center, a clever triple play on words.  The Center where people learn about their own divine center (or nature), the central hub where people come together to experience the joy and aliveness of life in community, and the quote from Ernest Holmes describing the Infinite (The Science of Mind 330.2-3), “The Infinite is, therefore indivisible and consequently a Perfect Unit… That Whose Center is everywhere and Whose Circumference is nowhere.  All of It is present at any and every point within Itself.  It is not approaching a point, nor receding from it, but it is always at the point.  The whole of God is present at any and every point within God.  It was to this Indwelling Spirit that Jesus prayed, for God is within man as well as throughout all creation.”

This notion that each of us already is a center of divinity can sometimes feel like a tough pill to swallow, because we tend to think of ourselves as less than perfect expressions of the Divine.  But what if we are not “less than”?  What if we actually live, move and have our being as the perfect expression of Divinity Itself, as we understand it?  Our beliefs about ourselves, and how our world works, color our life experience to such an extent that we have to have a limited experience, because we have limiting beliefs.

The facilitators and I are working through the curriculum for the exciting upcoming home group book study of Eric Butterworth’s Spiritual Economics.  I forgot how splendidly lovely this material is, until I cracked the book open again and re-read it.  Butterworth is consistently very clear.  On p. 23 he wrote, “Claim your entitlement. I am a child of the Universe, richly endowed with the fullness of the All Good.”  He continues on the same page, “You are an expression of the infinite creative flow, entitled to as constant a support as the lilies of the field.   You see, the basis of entitlement is the startling assertion: The Universe owes you a living!  Yes, we are saying owes you a living.  Note: We are not saying the world owes you a living.  Actually, the world owes you nothing.  You are a creative expression of the Universe, with the responsibility to let your light shine.  Thus you owe the world a life.”

Oh, there’s the rub. We have all the support of the Universe standing with us, in us, and as us, and we have the responsibility to own that authority and act/live/move from that place.  So yes, we already are the center of our own wheel, the individualized hub of our own interactions and life expression, and we choose from our point of view.

And yet, I am encouraged by Butterworth’s words, because he gives us a roadmap that we can choose to use to guide us on this path.  On p. 19 he wrote, “A person who keeps conscious that the divine flow is ever centered (there’s that word again… centered) within one, has faith that limitless substance will find expression through him or her in the form of creative ideas, ingenuity, the will to work, and a security of work opportunities.  It could be said that when you realize your relationship to the dynamic Universe, you are forever in a field where you can drill for oil and bring in a gusher every time.”

Every time.  I totally like those odds.  Pick a host home location that works for you and join us in this awesome city-wide Spiritual Economics home group book study that starts next week, won’t you?

By Rev Janis Farmer

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